Rapsody in 2014
|Birth name||Marlanna Evans|
|Also known as||Rapdiddy|
|Born||January 21, 1983|
Snow Hill, North Carolina, U.S.
Rapsody began her career at North Carolina State University, where she joined hip hop collective H2O and its spinoff group Kooley High, despite not having rapped before. The group met producer 9th Wonder in 2004, who was impressed by one of Rapsody's verses, and she would go on to make her recording debut on 9th Wonder's sophomore album, The Dream Merchant Vol. 2 which released on October 9, 2007, in which she free styled over 9th's re-chopping of old samples he already used for other artists.
She launched her solo career in 2008 after signing with 9th Wonder's It's A Wonderful World Music Group. Her first significant career breakthrough came with the release of her mixtape Return of the B-Girl on December 7, 2010. Return of the B-Girl marked her first work with hip-hop producer, DJ Premier, and featured guests such as Mac Miller and Big Daddy Kane. She continued to build acclaim with the release of her next mixtape, Thank H.E.R. Now which showcased her storytelling abilities as she drew from personal life experiences and featured her work with a variety of critically acclaimed acts such as Marsha Ambrosius, Estelle, Raekwon, Jean Grae, Murs, and Big K.R.I.T..
Her next project, For Everything was released on November 15, 2011 and showcased her work with both newly acclaimed and established acts such as Kendrick Lamar and Freeway and a number of the tracks were featured in XXL magazine's "Bangers" section. In May 2011, Rapsody joined Mac Miller on his Incredibly Dope Tour for 15 dates. In late 2011, she toured with Phonte and 9th Wonder as a part of the Phonte & 9th Wonder Tour.
Rapsody signed to Jay-Z's record label Roc Nation in July 2016, and her debut for the label, Laila's Wisdom, was released on September 22, 2017. The album received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.
Style and philosophy
Rapsody is known for her intricate rhyme patterns, metaphors, and wordplay. She cites Jay-Z, Mos Def, Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte as the biggest influences on her music. Her production is primarily handled by The Soul Council, the team of in-house producers at It's A Wonderful World Music Group comprising E. Jones, Ka$h Don't Make Beats, AMP, Eric G., Nottz and Khrysis. Rapsody's philosophy is "Culture Over Everything," referring to the culture of hip-hop music. She describes this phrase in an interview with Vibe Magazine where she says, "To me, it’s about culture more so than money or anything. I make music for the people of the culture we’re in; that comes first. If you touch the people first, the rest just falls into place. That’s what it means to me, just preserving and respecting the culture."
In her younger years, she watched the MTV show Yo! MTV Raps and considered MC Lyte as one of her early influences and later stated Lauryn Hill as an all-time favorite. She grew up in the small town of Snow Hill in North Carolina. Rapsody wasn't exposed to much hip hop and would listen to what her older cousins would play in the car. She would later develop her love for hip hop when she entered college.
Her 2017 album Laila's Wisdom was named after her grandmother, Laila Ray.
In 2019, Rapsody played for the "Home" roster during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Bojangles' Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The roster was made up of celebrities with Carolina roots. Her team won the game and she had one assist in the game while playing around 12 minutes.
- The Black Mamba (2012)
- Beauty and the Beast (2014)
- Crown (2016)
with Kooley High
- The Summer Sessions EP (2008)
- Eastern Standard Time (2010)
- Kooley High Presents...David Thompson (2011)
- Return of the B-Girl (2010)
- Thank H.E.R. Now (2011)
- For Everything (2011)
- She Got Game (2013)
|"We Are Jamla"||2009||Skyzoo, Big Remo, GQ||The Power of Words|
|"As We Shine"||Thee Tom Hardy, D-Mal||The Hardy Boy Mystery Mixtape: Curse of thee Green Faceded|
|"Okaaaaaay"||Thee Tom Hardy, TP|
|"Let's Go"||2010||Actual Proof||The Free EP|
|"It's Cool (Word to A. Gilliam)"|
|"Times Up"||Actual Proof, Halo, GQ, Sean Boog|
|"I Will Always Be Down"||Heather Victoria||Victoria's Secret|
|"Your Favorites"||Thee Tom Hardy||The Hardy Boy Mystery Mixtape: Secret of thee Green Magic|
|"Never Settle"||Sean Boog, Halo, Sundown||Light Beers Ahead of You|
|"What It Is"||Sean Boog|
|"Heroes"||Sean Boog, Big Remo, King Mez, Halo, GQ, TP|
|"Breathe"||2011||Actual Proof||The Talented Tenth|
|"The Jungle"||Halo||Heat Writer II|
|"Dream Big"||TP||TP Is My Hero|
|"Won't Stress Me"||Heather Victoria||Graffiti Diary|
|"Fight the Feeling"||Sean Boog, Halo, Tyler Woods||The Phantom of the Jamla|
|"Represent"||Actual Proof||Still Hotter Than July|
|"Lines"||Halo, 9thmatic||The Blind Poet|
|"20 Feet Tall (Remix)"||9th Wonder, Erykah Badu||The Wonder Years|
|"Set It Off"||The Away Team, Talib Kweli||Scars & Stripes|
|"Black Swan"||Statik Selektah, Nitty Scott, MC||Population Control|
|"ACC"||GQ, Halo||Trouble Man|
|"Optimus Prime"||GQ, Bluu Suede|
|"Not Taking You Back"||Heather Victoria||Hip Hop Soul Lives|
|"Headlights"||2012||Actual Proof||Black Boy Radio|
|"Many Microphones"||Actual Proof, 9thmatic|
|"I'm Back"||Big Remo||Sleepwalkers|
|"A Love Never Dies"||Sean Boog, Khrysis||Sean Boogie Nights|
|"And Another One"||Rah Digga||N/A|
|"Shorty Left"||Buckshot, 9th Wonder||The Solution|
|"Get Together"||Murs, 9th Wonder||The Final Adventure|
|"Gettin' Mine"||2013||Big K.R.I.T., Heather Victoria||N/A|
|"Same Shit"||Oh No, Psalm One||Disrupted Ads|
|"I Know"||GQ, Rocki Evans||Death Threats & Love Notes: The Prelude|
|"Before Midnight"||L'Orange, Stik Figa||The City Under the City|
|"It's OK"||Add-2 & Khrysis||Between Heaven and Hell|
|"The Resurrector"||2014||Bishop Lamont||The (P)reformation|
|"Hallelujah"||Dilated Peoples, Fashawn, Domo Genesis, Vinnie Paz, Action Bronson||Directors of Photography|
|"Pretty Balloons"||Halo||Mansa Musa|
|"Pump Ya Brakes"||Diamond D, Boog Brown, Stacy Epps||The Diam Piece|
|"Never Give Up (One for Ava)"||A-Villa, Guilty Simpson, Villa, Avalyn Villagomez||Carry on Tradition|
|"Complexion (A Zulu Love)"||2015||Kendrick Lamar||To Pimp a Butterfly|
|"Told Y'all"||dEnAuN||sTuFf In My BaCkPaCk|
|"Kidnapped"||King Magnetic||Timing Is Everything|
|"Another Level"||Statik Selektah||Lucky 7|
|"Stop Play Rewind"||Add-2||Prey for the Poor|
|"Kool Aid"||Add-2, Sam Trump|
|"Guillotine Flow"||Big K.R.I.T.||N/A|
|"Ski Mask Way"|
|"Every Ghetto"||Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder||Indie 500|
|"Life Ahead of Me"|
|"Don't Be Afraid"||Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, Problem, Bad Lucc|
|"See Love"||Shawn Stockman||N/A|
|"Walk Like a God"||Murs, 9th Wonder, Propaganda||Brighter Daze|
|"Without You"||2016||Anderson .Paak||Malibu|
|"Far Gone"||Musiq Soulchild||Life on Earth|
|"Shadows Crawl (DJ Premier Open Eyes Remix)"||Torii Wolf||N/A|
|"Guns Hang High"||GQ||N/A|
|"The Law"||Ab-Soul, Mac Miller||DWTW|
|"Let It Burn"||2017||Talib Kweli, Styles P, Chris Rivers||The Seven|
|"Loved Ones"||2018||PRhyme||PRhyme 2|
|"Love Is A Funny Thing"||Evidence, Styles P, Khrysis||Weather or Not|
|"Care To Say About It"||T.I.||Rapture The Soundtrack|
|"Go"||H.E.R., Alex da Kid||N/A|
|"Go (Remix)"||H.E.R., Alex da Kid, Jorja Smith||N/A|
|"Dostoyevsky"||Black Thought||Streams of Thought, Vol. 1|
|"Big Discount"||2019||The Karrin Allyson Sextet||Shoulder to Shoulder: A Centennial Tribute to Women's Suffrage|
- Aguilar, Andrea. ""LOVE AND HIP HOP" – INTERVIEW WITH RAPPER RAPSODY". beautifulstruggles.com. Beautiful Struggles. Retrieved 2014-12-29.
- "Rapsody". HotNewHipHop.
- "Rapsody Bio | Rapsody Career". MTV. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Griffith, Spencer. "Raleigh hip-hop six-piece Kooley High hits the big screen". Independent Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- Yeh, Samantha. "Where My Ladies At?". readymag.com. Ready Magazine. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- Hutchinson, Jacob. "Rapsody clever, insightful in 'Laila's Wisdom'". thepantheronline.com. The Panther. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- "Rapsody ft. Kendrick Lamar "Rock The Bells"". Archived from the original on November 19, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
- "Bangers News". XXL Mag.
- Paine, Jake (April 18, 2011). "Mac Miller Adds More Incredibly Dope Tour Dates, Rapsody Joins As Opener". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- Paine, Jake (September 19, 2011). "Foreign Exchange Continues Tour, With Phonte & 9th Wonder Dates Added". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- Williams, Houston. "Roc Nation Signs Rapsody, Announced Deal At Brooklyn Hip-Hop Fest". Allhiphop.com. Allhiphop. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "RAPSODY SIGNS TO ROC NATION". the source.com. The Northstar Group. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars Lead 2018 Grammy Nominees". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
- DeVille, Chris (August 23, 2019). "Stream Rapsody's New Album Eve". Stereogum. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- "Watch Your Throne! Rapsody Discusses Becoming The Female Jay-Z And What To Expect From 'Thank H.E.R. Now'". Vibe. May 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- "OK-Tho.com's Top 25 Artists of 2013" http://www.ok-tho.com/2014/01/top-of-year-deans-list-top-25-artists.html
- Yeh, Samantha. "Where My Ladies At?". readymag.com. Ready Magazine. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- Frank Stasio, Charlie Shelton. "Looking At The World Through Rhyme: Meet Rapsody". wunc.org. North Carolina Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
- release, Official. "ESPN and NBA announce celebrity rosters and coaches for 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles exclusively on ESPN". NBA.com. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
- Bloom, Madison (August 2, 2019). "Rapsody Enlists D'Angelo and GZA for New Song, Shares New Video: Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 12, 2019.